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Best Poems Written by Tom Cunningham

Below are the all-time best Tom Cunningham poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members

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A funny thing happened on the way to my hanging

A funny thing happened on the way to my hanging
Couldn't sleep the night before my head was banging
I was innocent of a crime that I did not commit
But they roughed me up and got me to admit.

The face on the wanted posters said it was me
Anyone seeing those posters would be inclined to agree
I was in a horse drawn prison wagon with bars down the side
Thinking to myself, it will be my last ever ride.

Heading for the gallows then onto Boot hill
To pay for shooting a bank teller that I didn't kill
Two miles from the town all hell did break loose
Unbeknownst to me I'd be dodging the noose.

For ten desperados' brought the wagon to stop
Then ordered the guards, their weapons they drop 
Some gang members got me out and they set me free
The gang leader approached and he looked just like me.

He said " in this life you look out for your own "
Then he told me something that I hadn't known
" We were Separated at birth and we had the same mother "
And that this mean desperado was in fact my twin brother .

 " We heard that you'd been framed for our crime spree
But you are my brother and that's why we've set you free.
The teller had died because he went for his gun
We grabbed all the money and went on the run ".

He gave me some money and said " start a new life "
Told me head south, settle down and find a good wife
There was so much I wanted to ask him and so much to say 
My brother said " some other time, best be on your way " .

Written on 4th July 2018.
For a funny thing happened on the way to...poetry contest, sponsored by Robert Haigh.

Copyright © Tom Cunningham | Year Posted 2018

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walking gracefully  ~
with a pendulum movement
a herd of giraffes   ~

the mass migration
crocodiles at the river
food for the taking

gazelles are running  ~
a hungry cheetah gives chase
speed is the winner  ~

a lone male lion  ~
approaches a sleeping pride
the battle begins  ~

an elephant herd  ~
arrive at the water hole
use trunks to cool down

a swarm of locusts
devouring vegetation
skeletal branches  ~

army on the move 
soldier ant battalion
have left a scorched earth

vultures in the trees  ~
animals weakened by thirst
death is imminent  ~

a downed buffalo  ~
lions watch as herd returns
bulls scatter the pride  ~

basking in cool mud
the african river horse
hippopotamus  ~

laughing hyenas  ~
find an unguarded carcass
scavengers feasting  ~

at the water hole  ~
animals quenching their thirst
alert for danger  ~

a crash of rhino  ~
hunted for their ivory
extinction looming  ~

a small antelope  ~
found on the African plains
cute looking dik dik  ~

the baobab tree  ~
silhouetted at sunset
african icon   ~

Copyright © Tom Cunningham | Year Posted 2018

Details | Tom Cunningham Poem

Where Did The Years Go

Remember years ago, when you were fit
Now you can't stand too long, before you have to sit
And all the times that you ran to catch your bus
Now it just passes by and you stand and cuss.

In the days gone by you'd eat like a horse
Now when you go out it's only one course
And much smaller bites when you do eat
Because your sweet tooth has cost you your teeth.

And the beautiful body you had as a young teen
Now when you go to the beach, you hope you're not seen
And tying your laces it's hard if your tall
You have to rise slowly because you might fall.

You go up to your bed feeling alright
Chances are you'll be up in the night
Having an accident is something you dread
So you put plastic sheets all over your bed.

And your eyes are not as good, as they used to be
So you have to wear glasses just so you can see
But it's not all gloom there is the odd perk
You can stay in bed later, because you don't have to work.

And you've been through life you're wiser too
When your family need advice they'll come to you
So burn the candle both ends, just have a ball
And enjoy your life until you get the call.  

Copyright © Tom Cunningham | Year Posted 2018

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Twenty first of October in two thousand and eighteen
Was the worst disaster poetry soup had seen
Poems wiped off the website as all the poets slept
When the disaster unfolded many poets wept.

Some had spent hours composing their verses
But no backup made, the air soon filled with curses
Contest entries too vanished without trace
Sponsors left fuming they had nothing to place.

And the beautiful comments people said about you
Into a cyber space black hole they all vanished too
The next night the poems, to everyone’s dismay
Returned to the site, ‘twas like Groundhog day.

Some blamed the Russians, some blamed the C.I.A.
Others wanted revenge for what happened that day
But do rest assured, soup said “have no fear
Free membership for everyone, for a whole year”

Now that’s a kind act I’m sure you’ll agree
Remember worse disasters have happened at sea
The moral of this verse is to remind everyone
Make a backup of your work when it is done.

(This did happen, not sure about the free membership though lol.
But it is a wake up call; always back up your work.)

Copyright © Tom Cunningham | Year Posted 2018

Details | Tom Cunningham Poem


black and white landscape
a colony of penguins ~
standing and waddling

in the oceans depth  ~
lives a black and white giant
orca killer whale   ~

seal on an ice flow  ~
oblivious to danger  ~
head butting whale strikes

egg laid by female  ~
emperor penguin stands guard
female goes hunting  ~

not in Africa  ~
elephant and leopard seals
sea is their jungle ~

hourglass dolphins ~
smaller than a bottlenose
keen bow wave riders

home is in the air  ~
the wandering albatross
a ten foot wingspan

in the frozen south ~
a species of royal bird
the emperor penguin

the antarctic terns ~
fly over a silver dish
krill is on the menu

thick and warm white coat
a camouflaged artic fox
unseen in the snow ~

top of the food chain
carnivorous white giant
fearsome polar bear ~

Copyright © Tom Cunningham | Year Posted 2018

Details | Tom Cunningham Poem


The symbol of remembrance is the red poppy
When I look upon it, this is what I see,
I see courage, sacrifice and extreme bravery
See thousands enlisting to defend their country.

I see other nationalities, every colour and creed
Who came to help England in her hour of need
I see water filled trenches with deep mud and rain
I see flashes of gunfire and hear the wounded in pain.

I see and hear the big guns that sound like thunder
I see a Europe at war slowly being torn asunder
I see the deadly yellow clouds of dense mustard gas
Hear the cries of those poor souls breathing their last.

I see the battles that were won and some that were lost
That eventually brought victory that came at a great cost
I see the graves of the fallen who gave us that victory
Remembering the sacrifice they made for their country.

I feel the pain of the mothers who gave us their sons
At wars end feel the peace when they silenced the guns
We mourn all those that died and for them we must pray
But war is not the answer we must seek a better way.

When you wear your poppy always do so with pride
Honour two minutes silence for the brave fallen who died.
So the next time that you look upon that little red poppy
Just pause for a moment and tell me what you see.

Written 16th May 2018.

Copyright © Tom Cunningham | Year Posted 2018

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Distant Shores

Atlantic storms had taken the main mast
For seven weeks we drifted helplessly
Fresh water and food were running out fast
There was talk below deck of mutiny.

Hunger, boredom and thirst were taking grip
As a boy I saw the dark side of men
To keep order the captain used the whip
I feared we would never see home again.

A sailor on watch shouted "land ahoy"
The wind picked up and drifted us along
Crew were happy and were now full of joy
Some sang the shanty, the wanderer's song.

Captain Smith cried out it is the Azores
The beautiful sight of its distant shores.

Written on 19th June 2018

Copyright © Tom Cunningham | Year Posted 2018

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The grist mill stands by the side of the lake
A bustling flour mill of yesteryear
An eerie place where many people died
If you go inside you will sense the fear.

John Grist the miller was a psychopath
Well known for his outbursts of drunken rage
Those that upset him would incur his wrath
Like William Jones who asked for his wage.

Grist was very drunk and went for his gun
Shot young William until he dropped dead
Then shot the workforce before they could run
The floor of the mill was covered blood red.

Grist mill is haunted, don’t go there at night
The dead still moan and you might die of fright.

Written 25th May 2018


Copyright © Tom Cunningham | Year Posted 2018

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The Night Sky

as the darkness falls  ~ ~
the night sky reveals treasure
diamonds on velvet    ~ ~

Copyright © Tom Cunningham | Year Posted 2018

Details | Tom Cunningham Poem


day and night equal
the autumnal equinox
autumn now begins
squirrels gather nuts
store food for the coming months
winter approaching
evergreens stay green
deciduous change colour
hues of red and gold
a weaker sunlight
chlorophyll stops producing
hibernation state
crops are now ready
summer sun has ripened them
the harvest begins
a bright harvest moon
provides light for the farmers
extra production
the fall migration
birds head for warmer climates
before the first frosts
halloween looming
farmers harvesting pumpkins
ghoulish faces glow
the fall or autumn
display amazing colours
both one and the same

Copyright © Tom Cunningham | Year Posted 2018